Friday, April 9, 2010

RE: Erin Andrews Death Threats

Erin Andrews, the ESPN sideline "reporter" who can currently be seen on "Dancing with the Stars" is a target of totally out-of-proportion interest on the internet. I can tell you from experience that posting anything about this woman is good for an extra 10,000 visitors, at least. And it's mostly harmless. She did have that creepy stalker who drilled holes in her hotel room wall, and made a video of her ironing her clothes and combing her hair while nude (she was nude, not the stalker-- not that we know of anyway, ew), but that guy is currently in jail.

So, she should be okay now, right?

Um, not necessarily. TMZ has the story about Ms. Andrews's current stalker problem; a man who is sending her death threats by email.
TMZ broke the story that a man in Newport News, Virginia has been sending sexual and violent emails to ESPN's Andrews since September. The emails -- all sent to DirecTV's "The Dan Patrick Show" -- turned violent and threatening in late March.

On March 29, the man wrote, "I would like to see if Erin Andrews can dance her way through a hail of gunfire. Better yet I would love to shoot her with a Barrett rifle. Get the pun -- her stalker was mr. Barrett and the barrett rifle is an ultra expensive 50 cl. rifle with a range over a mile."
Dan Patrick is the name of an ESPN anchor who has a radio show. The radio show can be viewed on DirecTV's 101 network. Why anyone would want to watch a radio show being filmed is beyond me. But there are some crazy people out there, clearly.

So this creep thinks that Mr. Patrick can get his message to Ms. Andrews. I suppose that is, in its own sick way, pretty reasonable. But what isn't reasonable is the stalker's use of a pun, and then his explanation of the pun within the same email.
"I would like to see if Erin Andrews can dance her way through a hail of gunfire. Better yet I would love to shoot her with a Barrett rifle. Get the pun -- her stalker was mr. Barrett and the barrett rifle is an ultra expensive 50 cl. rifle with a range over a mile."

If you think you're being clever with your pun, yet you still feel compelled to explain your clever pun, then you're not being nearly so clever as you think. If Vladimir Nabokov interrupted his narratives every time he laid down a pun, Lolita would have been about as long as Ulysses by James Joyce. And, by the way, Ulysses by James Joyce would have been about twice as long as it is now, if Joyce had stopped to draw attention to his puns.

What I'm saying is, this creep has a lot of problems. Granted, drawing attention to his own puns is probably the least of his problems, but it's still one of his problems. At least he didn't explain his "dance her way through a hail of gunfire" bit. Because she's on a dancing show, get it?

And by the way, what does a Barrett rifle look like? TMZ has what I assume is a picture:


That is subtlety, TMZ.

Anyway, what is law enforcement doing about this clear if pun-leaden threat?
In spite of this email and others, law
enforcement sources tell us the FBI is resistant to making an arrest, because authorities believe the author is engaging in free speech ... which is protected.

By the way, sources familiar with the author tell us he's 6'9" and very bulky.
Is threatening to kill someone protected speech? Maybe the fact that he threw in that pun makes it "fiction," or "performance art" or something, but for crying out loud what does someone have to do before "authorities" will at least talk to him? I mean, the guy is 6'9" and very bulky, for crying out loud.

Should Erin Andrews be worried about her punny stalker? Aren't the judges on that show scary enough? Get it? I made a totally inappropriate joke in which I seemed to suggest that the judges on a televised dance competition were in any way as threatening as someone who is sending death threats by email.

Erin Andrews Dancing with the Stars pic source.

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